Crossing the Circle Southern Expedition
Setting foot on the 7th Continent is a polar achievement relatively few people experience in their lifetime. Even more rare is the incomparable milestone that's achieved when a traveler crosses the iconic Antarctic Circle. Navigating south of 66 degrees 33 minutes South is - for most guests - the highlight of the 14-day itinerary Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition.
Approaching the Antarctic Peninsula, you'll wonder at the sheer scale and scope of the icebergs, mountains and stretches of polar beaches, dotted with seals and penguins. This exploration will take you further south still to cross into the Antarctic Circle, a privileged achievement you'll celebrate with your shipmates. Equal parts unpredictable, exciting and awe inspiring, your Antarctic adventure will impart in your memories to last a lifetime.
Highlights include: Crossing the iconic Antarctic Circle, daily with views of dramatic ice formations, humpback whales swimming alongside the ship, leopard seals diving beneath your zodiac, and listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs and glaciers.
Your Ship: he vessels in Quark Expeditions fleet accommodation anywhere from 128 to 199 passengers. They never exceed more than 200 passengers which gives guests the best polar experience on a smaller ship. Quark Expeditions boasts the largest polar-class fleet of any polar operator, and the ability to offer you this incredible voyage on one of their ice strengthened vessels. The entire Quark Expeditions fleet is built for challenging polar environments, allowing Quark to take you to places ordinary cruise companies wouldn't dream of going.
Ultramarine: The newest ship in the Quark Expeditions fleet, Ultramarine is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters and offers guests the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry and the most spacious suites in its category. Ultramarine also features breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. Guests: 199
Ocean Diamond: Both a comfortable and capable ship with all rooms enjoying exterior views, TV, fridge, and one double or two single beds, with some suites sporting a private balcony. Relax with a book in the polar library, head to the gym for a workout, enjoy a drink at the bar, or soak in the scenery from the panoramic observation lounge, or on one of the outer decks. Guests: 189
Ocean Adventurer: A long been a favourite among guests with ample outdoor deck space, numerous cosy spots to socialize onboard, plus the outdoor jacuzzi. In 2017, Ocean Adventurer underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation including a completely remodelled lounge, dining room and bar, and new en-suite bathroom facilities. Guests: 128
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentine town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.
Day 2: Ushuaia, Argentina and Embarkation As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds. Eventually the channel opens up to the Southern Ocean, and onwards to Antarctica.
Days 3 & 4: Crossing the Drake Passage Your days at sea are filled with presentations and lectures led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar, or enjoy the fresh air and views on the outer decks.
Days 5 - 7: The Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every visit to Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other - creating a unique, personal experience.
Each day, you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds, you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, and search for a number of southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal. Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are exploring the Antarctic terrain, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with five different species of seals. Zodiac cruising can offer opportunities to view some of the larger local marine mammals more intimately, such as Antarctic minke and humpback whales. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.
Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the astounding beauty of Antarctica. Listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs and glaciers and watching penguins waddling on the beach will become your daily entertainment, while sea kayaking, paddle excursions, or camping are optional activities available on select voyages (at an extra cost).
Days 8 & 9: The Antarctic Circle Crossing the Antarctic Circle is both a memorable experience and impressive achievement, as few travelers reach so far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line at 66 degrees 33 minutes South, we'll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass and take pride in knowing you've made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals, and your best chances of encountering sea ice - the foundation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.
Days 10 & 11: Northbound along the Peninsula By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like 'bergy bits' and pancake ice will seem normal too, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, while the Expedition team will continue to offer presentations, while giving you time to reflect on everything you've experienced.
Days 12 & 13: Crossing the Drake Passage to Ushuaia Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away and you'll be left with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the time crossing the Drake Passage fly by, independent of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up their series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you've visited over the course of your voyage.
Day 14: Disembark in Ushuaia We will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning after breakfast, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward, or catch your flights home.
*Important reminder - Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy and excitement of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting. NB: Cruises itineraries aboard Ultramarine commence with a hotel stay in Buenos Aires then a flight to Ushuaia, returning to Buenos Aires at the end. A mandatory transfer package is an additional cost on this cruise.
• Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board • All shore landings per the daily program • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled • Photographic journal documenting the expedition • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard ship • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person • On Ultramarine cruises a mandatory Buenos Aires Flight and Transfer Package is an additional cost, including: one pre-expedition hotel night in Buenos Aires with breakfast, group transfer from the hotel to the airport in Buenos Aires, a charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia (return), a group transfer from Ushuaia airport to the ship (return)
Pricing (per person) $USD
6, 15 Jan
4, 14, 16, 23 Feb
6, 15 Jan
Booking conditions • Please enquire for 2023 pricing and other cabin categories
• Single travellers will be matched with another traveller of the same gender and pay share twin price
• Single travellers who wish to have their own cabin, please enquire
• Please enquire for 2023 pricing and other cabin categories • Single travellers will be matched with another traveller of the same gender and pay share twin price • Single travellers who wish to have their own cabin, please enquire
Not included • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary
• Passport and visa expenses
• Government arrival and departure taxes
• Any meals ashore unless otherwise specified
• Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance
• Excess baggage charges
• Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
• Telecommunications charges
• The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
• Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary • Passport and visa expenses • Government arrival and departure taxes • Any meals ashore unless otherwise specified • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance • Excess baggage charges • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified • Telecommunications charges • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
Gratuity Gratuities are voluntary and can be given at the end of your cruise. We recommend that you budget US$10 to US$15 per person per day, if you are pleased with the service on board.
Gratuities are voluntary and can be given at the end of your cruise. We recommend that you budget US$10 to US$15 per person per day, if you are pleased with the service on board.